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Press Release: June 24, 2009

Mercurial: The Definitive Guide--New from O'Reilly: Modern Software for Collaboration

Sebastopol, CA—Mercurial is the easiest system to learn when it comes to distributed revision control--ideal whether you're a lone programmer working on a small project, or part of huge team dealing with thousands of files. Mercurial permits a countless variety of development and collaboration methods, and Mercurial: The Definitive Guide (O'Reilly, $39.99 USD) offers several concrete suggestions to get you started.

In the book's preface, author Bryan O'Sullivan explains that his desire to write this book came from a lack of published literature about the subject. "A few years ago, when I wanted to explain why I believed that distributed revision control was important, the field was so new that there was almost no published literature to refer people to."

He continues: "Although at that time I was working on the internals of Mercurial itself, I switched to writing this book because that seemed like the most effective way to help the software to reach a wide audience, along with the idea that revision control ought to be distributed in nature."

O'Sullivan takes you step by step through ways to track, merge, and manage both open source and commercial software projects with Mercurial, using Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, and other systems.

Mercurial: The Definitive Guide will help you:

  • Learn the basics of working with a repository, changesets, and revisions
  • Merge changes from separate repositories
  • Set up Mercurial to work with files on a daily basis, including which ones to track
  • Get examples and tools for setting up various workflow models with Mercurial
  • Manage a project that's making progress on multiple fronts at once
  • Find and fix mistakes by isolating problem sources
  • Use hooks to perform actions automatically in response to repository events
  • Customize the output of Mercurial

Like the revision system it describes, Mercurial: The Definitive Guide maintains a strong focus on simplicity to help you learn Mercurial quickly and thoroughly.

For a review copy or more information please email Please include your delivery address and contact information.

Bryan O'Sullivan is an Irish writer and developer who works with distributed systems, open source software, and programming languages. He wrote the award-winning O'Reilly title Real World Haskell. He lives in San Francisco with his family.

Additional Resources:
For more information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bios, and cover graphic, see:

Mercurial: The Definitive Guide
Bryan O'Sullivan
ISBN: 9780596800673, 280 pages,
Book Price: $39.99 USD, £34.50 GBP
Ebook Price: $35.99 USD

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